Multiplayer - Preferred Way

Posts: 95
Joined: 2009.09
Post: #1
Hey Guys,

this time I don't have a technical question, but I'd like a sort of open discussion.

First an Overview on what I'm doing:

[INDENT]My game is a turn-based Scifi Strategy-Game. A Turn usually takes less then 20 secs, if the playing User does not think too long.

I'm now designing the Multiplayer-Server, basically it has to do two things, first manage a User-Account-List with Highscores and second to supervise all ongoing games.

I think its would suffice if the IPhone sent a message to the server when the player finishes his turn, providing the server with the players actions. Now the server would send those Game-State-Updates to all over players (possibly employing push-notifications) and especially a flag to the next player to start his move.

If players don't respond to a game, I think I'll just let the AI do his side for the rest of the game.

Now we get to the interesting parts:

  1. How long should the time-out intervall be, before the server assumes a player left?
  2. Should each Iphone have a list of games its user is currently playing in, or should each user only have one active game (this is connected to the time-scaling of how long one assumes a turn should be).
    I.e. should the Iphone allow a user to stop playing for half an our because he left his tram and is walking home and will only continue the moment he arrived at his living room.
  3. Should I provide a list of Pre-game-meeting rooms players can create and join to find people to pla with (like in Battle of Wesnoth or Battlenet Free Play) or should I provide a automatic game search, where you get your peers at random (adjusted by their score) (like in Eliminate or Battlenet Ladder Games).
    I think I won't do both!
  4. If I take the pre-game-room-approach, should I add an option whether the player intends the game to on the base of a turn per day vs. a turn per minute or something alike?

I would really like your Opinion Smile
What do you think is the best use-case, how many Settings should I allow players to change and how many should I preset myself?
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Posts: 95
Joined: 2009.09
Post: #2
Nobody has any opinion?

Another question developed, should I send a message to the server each time a player moves a unit, so the server forwards it to other players?
This way players would see each other moving individual units, but it would take more network-messages and would therefore be more battery-consuming.

I was planning on doing an update on the game-state each time a player finishes his turn, but that may be a bit boring for other players, when its not their turn..
Could be less of an issue with push-notification?

TO ADMINS: Maybe you can move this thread to the Network-Issues- Forum, maybe it's more appropriate there.
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Posts: 245
Joined: 2005.11
Post: #3
Quote:1. How long should the time-out intervall be, before the server assumes a player left?
How about having an explicit time limit of about 30s per-turn? That makes it clear to everyone what is going on. It might seem harsh, but leaving it too long will mean all the other players get bored and lose interest.

Quote:should I send a message to the server each time a player moves a unit, so the server forwards it to other players?
I think this would be vital for two reasons. Seeing the game develop during other players' turns allows you to understand what is going on better and plan ahead for when your own turn comes around. It also allows players to see that something really is going on and their turn is coming around again.
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Posts: 328
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #4
Have three different game types: Quick, Casual, Correspondence.

Each game type has its own timer: Quick gives each player 30 seconds so everyone must be quick on their feet, Casual gives 3 minutes so you can be interrupted by Real Life and still get back into the game, and Correspondence has no time limit and allows you to play at any pace (think Correspondence Chess where you could wait months for your opponent's move.)

If I were playing, I would normally choose Quick and play some quick games. If I was a bad student in class and wanted to sneak in quick turns I might choose Casual, and if I wanted to play with my friend on another continent I'd choose Correspondence and just play a long drawn out game.

This seems like a good way to accommodate several kinds of players.
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